I thought it was. For a long time. But it was only when I stayed at one place for a long time when I realized there is so much more in life than just travel.
If you ask me, I didn’t achieve much in the past year. At least not much of what could be visible to all. I don’t have a cool fancy job, I didn’t become respected journalist, nor famous blogger. I didn’t travel across the world (well I did a little, but not the mind blowing mega trips you know from all over instagram). I haven’t come up with an original start-up, I did not (again) start attending a yoga class (or any kind of sport lesson). But I lived. And I loved it.
It took some time, though.
Today it’s exactly 12 months since I returned home from living abroad for one full year. After all those crazy Erasmus parties, non-stop travelling, fun times with new friends, exploring something new every day, I suddenly found myself alone at empty apartment, with no big travel plan ahead and nothing but “ordinary” days to look forward to. Those ordinary days became my favourite later on, but I had to suffer through post-erasmus depression, lonely nights with no one to reflect the last trip and unwillingness to attend the classes at university. And seeing photos from my other friends’ study abroad did not help.
I wanted to be anywhere else, but home. I was imagining big New Year’s Eve plans, spent somewhere unexpected and magnificent, because the last year I partied in Istanbul on a boat, floating along the Bosphorus. I had to beat it! I did. With my closest friends, having girl’s night out and tons of fun in our hometown. No Amsterdam or Shanghai, no one night friendships and pretending you are having the time of your life, stuck in the middle of crowded square, with so many people around but alone. This night kind of marked the time I was finally okay with being at one place for a long time.
And what really matters to me is that I have found peace with myself. I have learned how to spend time alone and love it (often so much it makes me question the idea of going out on friday night). I might not have earned millions or spoke with locals in the far eastern countries but I have learned to appreciate the simple things. I fell in love with my beautiful hometown, I enjoyed evenings alone with hot tea and gramophone music. I have reconnected with old friends, spent countless afternoons drinking coffee, chatting, chilling. Life is not meant to be lived in one place? Why not, if the place is beautiful, the nature charming, the people friendly?
Please don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I suddenly don’t want to travel the world. I do, I want. I strive to meet its magic and wonders, talk with people from different cultures and taste every dessert possible. And I’m looking forward to doing all of those things. But if I didn’t, the life wouldn’t stop for me. I’m having a pretty good times right now, surrounded by people I love the most (both live and virtually) and looking forward what each day will bring, even if it’s nothing more than a nice book and tasty coffee. I am not interested in travelling 24/7, leaving everything and everyone behind. As appealing as it might sound, earning money by travelling nonstop is not tempting for me. I have just come across a quote by E. E. Cummings that describes what I’m trying to say to you the best: The three saddest things are the ill wanting to be well, the poor wanting to be rich, and the constant traveller saying “anywhere but here”.
Here is okay, here is perfect. Here is where your life is happening. And if you are running away, you are missing the ordinary, yet great simple days, the presence that should be felt. I had to learn it myself and I’m happy I did.
“Live each day like if it was your last”. It should be spontaneous adventures, bungee jumping from the top of the tallest building, buying last-minute plane ticket across the world, doing millions of things in a single day, right? Well, if I spent my last day drinking coffee at balcony, after having lunch with my parents and few beers in a local pub with friends, I don’t mind. It would be a day well spent.
Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.